Earn a bachelor of arts in history while developing strong writing and critical thinking skills and engaging in hands-on projects with Virginia’s world-class historical sites. Apply Today

A faculty of enthusiastic historians provides a broad but disciplined understanding of American, British, African American, and European history. Classes range from basic survey courses to unique offerings such as Twentieth-Century Europe in which European culture is studied through film. Mary Baldwin is a sponsor of the Virginia Program at Oxford each summer, which gives students the opportunity to combine travel with the study of literature, history, and society of late 16th- and early 17th-century England.

History is also available as a minor. Minors in public history and historic preservation allow for specialization within the field.

Complete your history degree online.

Our history degree can be completed fully online through the university’s innovative Baldwin Online and Adult Programs. Just like in-person classes, the Blackboard-interface program emphasizes the development of strong conceptual skills in tandem with practical applications. MBU helps you fast-track your path to a history degree with the opportunity to transfer up to 18 credits (6 courses) through direct course equivalents from the Virginia Community Colleges System.

As active scholars themselves, our history faculty emphasize writing well, primary source research, and personal contact. The curriculum offers both concentration in broad areas of history and specialized focus through colloquia on unique topics such as Jamestown and the Atlantic World and Lewis and Clark.

Why study history at Mary Baldwin University?

History majors learn:

  • to develop an understanding of history as a discipline and of the historical method
  • to cultivate general historical knowledge and an understanding of historical time, change, perspective, context, and judgment
  • to develop written and oral skills in communicating historical concepts
  • to foster an appreciation of the use of history as a structure for integrating knowledge from other areas of the curriculum
  • to develop skills in using and conducting research in primary and secondary sources
  • to foster an interest in foreign studies and other cultures
  • to have an awareness of career opportunities and graduate study in the fields of teaching, archives, museum studies, historic preservation, and public history
  • to understand the ethical issues involved in historical research and writing

History faculty at Mary Baldwin put a strong emphasis on writing well, primary source research, and personal contact. The curriculum offers both concentration in broad areas of history and specialized focus through colloquia on unique topics such as Jamestown and the Atlantic World and Lewis and Clark. Every student in both the undergraduate residential college and in the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs writes a senior thesis. There are minors in historic preservation and public history, the Virginia Program at Oxford, the George C. Marshall Foundation, chapters of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary, and Phi Beta Kappa. All faculty are PhDs and active scholars. The library houses an excellent collection of primary source research materials. The department also has numerous internship opportunities at places such as the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the Museum of American Frontier Culture, the Augusta County Historic Society, the R.R. Smith Center for History and the Arts, the Stonewall Jackson House, and the Mary Baldwin archives.

Phi Alpha Theta — History Honor Society

Frontier Culture Museum

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

American Historical Association

Organization of American Historians

Association for the Study of African American Life and History

The Society for the History of Technology

Virginia Program at Oxford
Created by Mary Baldwin in 1967, the Virginia Program at Oxford (VPO) draws together students from six Virginia colleges to spend six weeks living and learning together in the lively, historic town of Oxford, England. This combination of independent study, lectures, and small group discussions includes students from Hampden-Sydney, Roanoke College, Sweet Briar College, Virginia Military Institute, and Washington and Lee University.

To learn more about this unique opportunity, visit www.vaoxford.org

Phi Alpha Theta
Mary Baldwin University is the home of a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society. New members are initiated in the spring semester, and the chapter sponsors a reception and public lecture.

To learn more about this unique opportunity, visit www.vaoxford.org


Welcome to MBU

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Contact Information


Katharine M.G. Franzén

Assistant Professor of History (part-time); MA, St. Andrews University; PhD, University of...
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Mary Hill Cole

Professor of History; BA, James Madison University; MA, PhD, University of Virginia...
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Clayton Brooks

Assistant Professor of History (part-time); BA, Roanoke College; MA, PhD, University of...
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Edmund D. Potter

Assistant Professor of History; BA, College of William & Mary; MA, University of Virginia;...
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Amy J. Tillerson

Associate Professor of History; BA, MA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; PhD,...
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Gifts That Mean The World

“My goal, as we sailed from New York on the SS Independence, was to take it all in,” said M. Elizabeth “Betty” Swope when recalling her trip to Spain through Mary Baldwin’s Junior Year Abroad program. That year, and that trip, set the...
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Students Give Back Through Social Work Program

When Rob and Sue Warfield Caples ’60 gave to Mary Baldwin College to start an accredited social work program, they left a lasting mark on the college community. In 2007, 148 students petitioned the college to begin accreditation processes for a Bachelor of Social...
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Tracy “Lolita” Burks Healy ’87

It started as an ordinary night out with girlfriends. Lolita Healy and her friends kicked back and ordered cocktails, but when the drinks arrived, Burks thought something was missing; the glasses needed color, style, and personality to match the women sipping from...
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Jessica Gatewood ’00

After earning a BA in biopsychology at Mary Baldwin and a master’s degree at the University of Richmond, Jessica Gatewood was working as a biochemistry research assistant at the University of Virginia when she reached a turning point in her professional life. Instead...
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Monique Burgess ’14

College life was not a passive experience for Burgess. Her influential roles on campus included peer mentor, resident assistant, Anointed Voices of Praise Gospel Choir singer, and member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa — applying her...
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